Warning: this post may trigger some people. It certainly triggers me. This started off as a Facebook post that someone put up to commiserate with fellow females about the strange way many men “apologize.” But it has turned into so much more. Until I saw the many responses that poured forth, I didn’t realize how chronic and insidious this is. Whether it’s bosses or politicians or fathers or partners, I suspect all of us have heard at least a few of these things at least once in our lives. And it’s not okay.
So what follows are some of the responses this Facebook thread elicited. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
- Sorry you took that the wrong way.
- I don’t remember that, sorry.
- God! I’m sorry already. Are you on the rag or something?
- It’s because you push back too much.
- Why are you such a sensitive b****.
- Learn to take a compliment, sweetheart.
- You’re making too much of it.
- There’s no need to get hysterical.
- You sure are crabby. Are you having a hot flash?
- You’ll never get a man, acting like this.
- I guess I’ll just never speak again.
- I get it and I’m sorry, but don’t you think you need to apologize to ME?
- You shouldn’t feel that way.
- It was just a joke. Sheesh. Didn’t know you were so sensitive.
- You used to have a sense of humor.
- If it makes you feel better…
- B****, please.
- You need to toughen up.
- Did you remember to take your pill?
- I’m sorry I’m not a mind reader.
- Oh, calm down.
- I’m sorry you got upset. It’s just your low self esteem!
- I understand some people were offended by my remarks. (This last should be classified as a Politi-Manpology.)
The most terrifying one, though, is “Look what you made me do.” If you’re in a relationship with someone who says that, please run for the nearest exit. It never ends well.
The thing I find most hurtful, though, is no apology at all. I haven’t spoken to one of my best friends in the whole world for about a year now because of that. I got tired of giving him a pass on the rare occasion when he said something out of line. He needs to grow up and apologize for bad behavior. I doubt he ever will, and I miss him every single day, but there comes a time when you have to stop tolerating disrespect.
Before you even say it, I realize that very few people on earth are good at apologizing. I realize women can say awful things, too. But, at the risk of sounding like I’m man-bashing, it does seem that men are kind of trained up to be confident that if there is a problem, it can’t possibly be theirs. They’re also taught to believe that women’s feelings are irrational and illegitimate, regardless of how piss-poor the man’s behavior might be. And that, indeed, is a problem.
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